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Paper: Probing the Circumstellar Disk Structure of Classical Be Stars with Polarimetry
Volume: 464, Circumstellar Dynamics at High Resolution
Page: 125
Authors: Halonen, R. J.; Jones, C. E.
Abstract: Our general understanding of classical Be stars lacks a clear physical description of the formation and dissipation of the circumstellar disks of gas surrounding these objects. Observations of these stars reveal a non-zero linear polarization which originates from the scattering of light in the non-spherically symmetric circumstellar environment. The wavelength-dependence of this intrinsic feature of classical Be stars can be useful for tracing the density distribution of the gas. Consequently, the polarimetric properties of classical Be stars can provide important diagnostics in the computation of theoretical models of the disks. These models can improve our understanding of disk physics. We combine the use of a new multiple scattering code with a non-LTE radiative transfer code to examine the spectropolarimetric properties of the linear polarization produced in classical Be stars. Using these analyses, we illustrate the possibilities for high-resolution polarimetry of classical Be stars in investigating the evolution of the physical structure of the circumstellar disks.
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